Posts Tagged ‘Friday the 13th Part 8’

Part Seven: The Master of Horror

October 26th, 1990. Hallow-Con, New York City

Later that day at the convention, the line began to form to meet special effects master Tom Savini. Dan was super excited, as his wonderful fiancé purchased tickets to meet Tom as a birthday gift. Dan always wanted to meet Savini, who did effects work for such classics as Dawn of the Dead, Maniac, The Burning, Creepshow, not to mention his friend George’s favorite, Friday the 13th. Dan hoped to follow in his footsteps, attending school to be a special effects artist.

Of course, his long-lost friend George accompanied them in the long line running past the Friday the 13th. While George boasted of all the times he’d already met Savini, he wondered what happened to his friend. He intended to ask why he just up and disappeared from campus, but, as usual, he couldn’t get a word in. Dan noticed is fiancé rolling her eyes as he prattled on stating his opinions on the Friday the 13th franchise, what he’d do with the series if he had the chance, and the overall state of modern horror.

Inching through the row of fans the trio passed the booth for the current Friday the 13th TV series. Victoria appeared slightly relieved as George’s never-ending monologue was interrupted by the opportunity to meet actors Chris Wiggins, Eliaz Zarou, and Steve Monarque. Talking to the cast of the series, the trio of fans got to look at a few props from the show, which was about cursed items from a pawn shop and had nothing to do with the films. Dan took Victoria’s picture while she tried on the cursed apron, which was worn in an episode by a distraught camp cook whose son drowned in a lake. George picked up a hockey mask laying among the props, reminding Dan of another episode where that mask turned a man into an unkillable psychopath. Victoria and Dan both agreed that would have made a good movie.

Victoria and her fiancé were both glowing as they finally reached the end of the line. “Hey big guy!” Tom seemed to recognize George from past conventions and happily shook his hand. Dan wondered if George would yap with him forever, but fortunately he did not, and he and Victoria were next.

“It’s so awesome to meet you!” Dan said as he finally met his hero. Tom graciously shook Dan’s hand while Dan flashed back to all those times as a young teenager, watching horror movies on his dirty couch, never even daring to dream that someday she would be here before him. To Dan and his wonderful fiancé, this moment was like what meeting Michael Jordan or Joe Montana would be to people outside these convention walls. The couple were absolutely thrilled to talk with Tom, who could not have been more friendly.

To George, meeting Savini may have become old hat, but he was still excited due to what was standing right next to the horror effects master. There it was, decked out in full costume straight out of the movies, what was considered to be Tom’s greatest creation. It was massive, lumbering, evil. While his fiancé made small talk with Tom, Dan noticed George looking over the creature the way a frat boy would look over a hot chic. George’s eyes went up and down the monstrous body, appreciating every little detail, from the fangs and claws down to the last little bloody scar. There before him, stood the Jersey Devil of the Friday the 13th series. 

Naturally, Dan and Victoria admired the beast as well. “I always wanted to ask you this.” Dan said nervously.  “Is it true there was a different story in mind for the first Friday the 13th film?”

“Well, I didn’t write the script, but most of the people on the crew were big fans of Halloween.” The master explained while pointing to Dan’s Halloween shirt. “From what I remember, the original story was going to have a human killer.” Looking at Victoria he added “If I recall they were even thinking of a female villain. Thing was, Halloween wasn’t a huge hit, so the financiers were a little gun shy.” 

“Really!” Dan wondered aloud. “I thought Halloween was awesome!”

“Sure, I mean the people that come to shows like this love it,” Tom said, “but remember it wasn’t really a successful movie. Some of it was great, but they needed a better lead actress.”

“I loved that red head!” George interjected, referring to the actress from the first Halloween. Victoria’s eyes rolled as he motioned with his hands. “She had that nice big rack!”

“Uh, yeah,” Tom nervously laughed. “She couldn’t act though, they needed someone to play Laurie Strode with some vulnerability. Michael Myers was such a great villain, and Donald Pleasence was pitch perfect as Dr. Gavin. If they’d just cast a good lead that could have put the movie over the top.” George continued admiring the creature while Victoria and Dan nodded in understanding.

“Anyway, Sean Cunningham got a new group of investors for the film,” Tom went on to explain, “and these new investors pushed for a monster. There hadn’t been a good monster movie in a while, and we thought, hell since we’re filming in New Jersey anyway, why not make it the Jersey Devil?”

“Too bad about not having a female killer.” Victoria thought out loud. “We don’t get too many of those, aside from Carrie I guess.”

“And Mary Lou from the Prom Night Sequels.” Dan added.

“That’s why I love you dear.” Victoria’s eyes twinkled at her fellow horror nerd.

“It’s probably all for the best though.” George again interjected. Pointing to the Devil, he said “That thing is awesome. Who’s under the mask? Is it C. J. Graham or Dan Bradley?”

“That’s the one and only Tim Mirkovich.” Savini revealed.”

“Oh sweet, straight from Part Eight.” George said excitedly. “I wasn’t sure if you were going to be here!”

The young couple then got their pictures taken with both Tom and the Devil. George also got his Friday the 13th Part 8: The Devil Takes Manhattan poster autographed. “This is the best Friday ever!” George said. “I loved that chase scene on the Brooklyn Bridge, and that scene where the Devil dives off the Statue of Liberty was so cool!”

“Thank you.” Tom said. “Those were really hard scenes to shoot; we’re sure glad you appreciate them.”

“So, what’s the next movie going to be about?” Victoria asked.

“Well, we don’t know where else to take him.” Tom started thinking on his feet. “We did Jersey, we did New York,” Tom laughed while speculating, “Maybe next the Devil should go back to hell!”

“That would rule!” George said, his eyes still on the beast. More fans were gathered around to meet Savini, so the trio and Tom made their final greetings. Walking away with the autographs and pictures, Dan could have gone home right then and there and would have been happy.

October 26th, 1990. Bethlehem Pennsylvania

The Second Street Tavern was filled with music as Henry watched her daughter take a shot. He’d long dispatched Phil from the pool table, who was now on stage jamming with Steve. Henry was growing to like the local music scene. He liked it more when an attractive red head walked in with a guitar slung around her back. He gave her a quick smile as he heard her daughter say “Shit!” after the sound of the cue ball hitting the side of the pool table for a scratch. “Your shot dad.” 

He remembered his daughter being a better player than this as he looked over the table. She’d missed an easy corner shot that set him up to knock one of his own in the side pocket.  Looking at her while he set up his shot, she seemed annoyed.

“What’s wrong hon?” He asked while easily making the shot.

“I don’t know, I’m still upset George didn’t come out.”

“You’re here, that’s what counts.” he said while eyeing up his next shot.

“But it’s our family. I guess I just expected him to be here, because, well you know.”

“Well, he probably doesn’t remember Aunt Sally too much.” Henry reasoned as he sank another ball. “Do you remember her?”

“Yeah, a little. I remember going to see her in the hospital, and I remember when she stayed with us for a while. She would let me and George watch cartoons when you wanted us to do homework.”

“Yeah,” Henry laughed while looking over his next shot, “she was a free spirit. Our parents were really tough on both of us, and she just had it in her so much to rebel.” He went on to reveal, “Sometimes mom and I knew she was letting you watch movies or sneaking you treats. We let her go, figured she should have some fun with you while she could.”

“Were things really that bad for her?”

Sinking another solid Henry said, “She was in and out of trouble as long as I could remember.” He looked over at the bar’s Age of Purchase calendar, remembering this date. “Once she was gone, I mean it was devastating, but nobody was really surprised.” He then looked at the table to set up his final shot. “None of this is on George though, he’s got to go his own way.”

“When’s the last time you even talked to him?” Helen asked.

“I don’t know.” Eyeing up his final shot, about to win another game he added, “It’s been a while.”

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